Thunderbirds are a go at Amazon Studios, which is bringing the 1960s British sci-fi teen heroes to the digital screen.
Amazon has ordered four 13-episode seasons of “Thunderbirds Are Go” from ITV Studios Global Entertainment, under a pact that includes exclusive U.S. rights. The show features the five Tracy brothers of the International Rescue squad, who go on missions spanning the globe and into outer space. The series stars Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl,” “The World’s End”), who voices agent Lady Penelope.
The first 13 episodes of the show are scheduled to debut on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. later in 2016, followed by the U.K., Germany and Austria. “Thunderbirds Are Go,” produced by ITV Studios and New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with Weta Workshop, uses a mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets. The producers say the reboot pays tribute to “the legacy of model locations” from the original series, which used marionette figures.
The original “Thunderbirds,” created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, was first broadcast on ITV in 1965 and featured the the catchphrase “Thunderbirds are go!” Last year a 26-episode first season of “Thunderbirds Are Go” aired on ITV and CITV in Britain and Australia’s Nine Network, as well as in New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands. ITV’s CITV children’s network is slated to air a second 26-episode run of “Thunderbirds Are Go” starting in late 2016. Amazon is splitting the show into four seasons of 13 segments each.
“Thunderbirds Are Go” is exec produced by Estelle Hughes (“Driver Dan’s Story Train”), Giles Ridge (“Pocoyo”), Richard Taylor (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Andrew Smith (“District 9”). The series is written by Rob Hoegee (“Generator Rex,” “Teen Titans)” and directed by David Scott (“Lego Star Wars”) and Theo Baynton (“The Wotwots”).
Voice cast of “Thunderbirds Are Go” includes David Graham, who reprises his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker. Inventor Brains is voiced by Kayvan Novak (“Facejacker”); Tracy brothers Alan is played by Rasmus Hardiker (“Lead Balloon”); Tracy brother John is played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (“Game of Thrones”).
The series is distributed internationally by ITV Studios, a unit of U.K. broadcaster ITV. “Thunderbirds Are Go” has been sold to more than 40 countries worldwide, with Australia’s public broadcaster ABC the latest to acquire the series.
Pictured: “Thunderbirds Are Go” characters Lady Penelope and Parker.